Race to become the UK’s first City of Culture hots up as the Final Fourteen has become the Fantastic Four. Culture Minister
Margaret Hodge has announced the final four cities vying to become the UK’s first City of Culture in 2013. They are Birmingham, Derry/Londonderry, Norwich and Sheffield. They were shortlisted by an independent judging panel, whose recommendations were accepted by Secretary of State Ben Bradshaw. The panel will also make the final recommendation on the winning bid, with that city to be announced in the summer.
Margaret Hodge said:
“Huge congratulations to the four cities in the final running for the 2013 UK City of Culture. It’s a testament to their hard work – and dedication to culture – that they’ve come so far in what has proven to be a very tough competition. I’m really pleased that we attracted such a strong and varied field. It just goes to show the richness of culture across the UK.
“I was very impressed with all fourteen bids and, for those not shortlisted, I would say take heart from what you’ve achieved and continue to work on creating a cultural offer which can be enjoyed by all and which will help to make your cities even more attractive places in which to live and work”.
Phil Redmond, Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel, said:
“The Panel had both a stimulating but difficult task in suggesting the short-list as all 14 bidders had realised impact of becoming the UK’s first City of Culture and what that would bring, not least the media exposure that would accompany it. This in itself was a great endorsement for the project as a whole.
"In deciding on the four cities recommended - Derry/Londonderry, Birmingham, Norwich, and Sheffield – the panel was influenced by the expected step change each city was asked to envisage, if they gained the title and subsequent media spotlight.
"It was a hard choice but also heartening that all bidders had recognised the power of culture to bring people together; to work collectively within existing resources for a common goal and bring into being networks that may not have existed before.
"For those not on the shortlist that is still a powerful and valuable achievement, with a reminder that 2013 is only the first time the title will be awarded. 2017 is not that far away!”
Source: © Department for Culture, Media And Sport